Roth fixing the name-plate for Judge Rodey's portrait
Roth fixing the name-plate for Judge Rodey's portrait


David Wells Roth, a portrait and land/cityscape artist, was born in Florida and grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  While in high school he received private instruction from Boston expressionist David Aronson then studied painting in Boston University under a Ford Foundation scholarship, graduating with a BFA in painting.

Right after college, Roth moved to New York City.  Despite the financial hardships of being a fledgling artist in New York (which included living in his car for a time), he painted cityscapes, views in Central Park and street scenes throughout the city and sold them to passersby off of his portable easel. 

In 1982, a French family offered Roth the opportunity to live in their home in the South of France for several months in exchange for a painting.  He then moved to the Paris suburb of Le Pre St. Gervais and lived there through 1997, bartering his paintings for his apartment.  While in Le Pre St. Gervais, he continued to paint city life, cafes and landscapes of Europe, including painting throughout Italy between 1984-1986.  He was involved in exhibitions in Paris and Boston, including solo exhibitions at the French Library in Boston, and the Copley Society.  He participated in group shows in Paris, including shows at the Grand Palais, a juried competition at the Cirque d’Hiver called Les Trophees de la Couleur, and a juried salon exhibition in the 10th district city hall of Paris.   While in Paris, from 1995-97, he commuted back to Boston for a commission to paint a series of historical paintings for the Boston landmark and America's oldest continuously operating restaurant, The Union Oyster House.  The series was about the life of the Boston Revolutionary War publisher, Isaiah Thomas, and Daniel Webster, as well as some images of early Boston history which are on view in their Heritage room and along their sidewalk windows.

Since returning to the states, Roth participated in group shows in the Allan Stone and DFN galleries in New York, had solo exhibitions at the American Institute of Architects in Boston and the Whistler House Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts and was a finalist in the Blanche E. Coleman Award Competition.  The Boston Public Library recently acquired several of his drawings and watercolors for its print and paper collections.

The federal and state courts in Massachusetts commissioned judicial portraits including a portrait of judge Richard G. Stearns which is hanging in Boston’s federal courthouse.

From 2007-2010 he was awarded a commission to paint the portraits of all 34 judges (past and present) of the United States federal court of the district of Puerto Rico.


Boston University, BFA, Painting.
Studied under: David Aronson (pre-college private mentor then professor at BU), John Wilson, Arthur Polonsky, David Ratner, Iso Papo, Morton Sacks, Joseph Ablow

Rhode Island School of Design, Pre-college studies program.
Studied under: Richard Merkin, David Mccoulay

Awards and recognition

2012-15 St. Botolph Club, Boston - Fellowship, Fellow
2006 Blanche E. Coleman Award Competition, finalist
1993 Lefranc  & Bourgois, Winsor Newton, Les Trophees de la Couleur, France
1975-76 Ford Foundation, Educational Grant, Boston University, Boston, MA
1975 Gold Medal, M. Grumbacher Artist’s Material Award, New York National Scholastic Awards, New York, NY
1974-75 Boston Globe Scholastics Art Competition,  various awards

Selected Solo Painting Exhibitions

2015   South Street Gallery, Hingham, MA
2012   St. Botloph Club, Boston, MA
2010   Julie Heller Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2010   Whistler House Museum of Art, Lowell, MA
2007   Boston Society of Architects / AIA, Boston, MA
1994   American School of Paris, Paris France
1990   W.I.C.E. (Woman’s Institute of Continuing Education) Paris, France  
1989   Kennedy Studios, Boston, MA
1988   Angelina’s (tea salon) Paris, France  
1988   Jewish Community Center, Revere,MA
1988   White Cliff Estate, Plymouth, MA
1987   Galleria Chaillot, Paris, France
1987,88,89   French Library of Boston, Boston, MA 
1986   The Copley Society of Boston, Boston, MA
1985   Marriott Hotel, Boston, MA 
1985,86,87   Sky Club, Boston, MA 
1983   La Loir Dans La Theier (tea salon), Paris, France

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016 Powers Gallery, "Town & Country", Acton, MA
2016 Kelpi Gallery, South Thomaston, ME
2015 St. Botolph Club, Fellowship Exhibition
2014 Boston University, Convergence: 60th Anniversary Alumni Juried Exhibition
2013 St. Botolph Club, Fellowship Exhibition
2013 Powers Gallery, Acton MA
2012 Claudia Stone Gallery, New York, NY
2012 Quidley & Company Fine Art, Boston, MA
2012 George Billis Gallery, New York, NY
2010 Brickbottom Gallery, Somerville, MA
2008 Mazmanian Art Gallery, Framingham State College, Framingham, MA
2008 Allan Stone Gallery – Talent 2008, New York, NY
2008 Danforth Museum, Framingham MA, Juried Exhibition, Curated by Carole Anne Meehan, Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
2007 Allan Stone Gallery – Talent 2007, New York, NY
2007   Powers Gallery, Acton, MA
2006  Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA
2006 Frances Roddy Competition - Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Juried Show, Jurer: Howard Yezerski 
2005 – Present,  The Julie Heller Gallery, Provincetown, MA 
2005   South End Open Studio, Boston, MA 
2005   Redbrick Studio, Beverly, MA
1994   Espace BROTHER, Paris, France
1993   Cirque d'Hiver, Les Trophees de la Couleur (LEFRANC & BOURGEOIS, WINSOR & NEWTON), Paris, France 
1992   Grande Palais (Salon d'Automne), Paris, France 
1990   Pre St. Gervais, France - Salon d'Expression Contemporain, Le Pre St. Gervais, France
1982   10th district city hall (Juried salon exhibition) Paris, France 
1980   Copley Society of Boston's "Boston Jubilee 350", Boston, MA
1975-79   Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA
1975   New York National Scholastic Awards, Union Carbide Building, New York, NY 
1974,75   Massachusetts Regional Scholastic Art Exhibition (sponsored by the Boston Globe) Boston, MA 

Selected Collections and commissions

Mairie du Pre St Gervais, Pre St Gervais, France
Boston Public Library
, Prints & Drawings Collection, Boston, MA
United States of America, Federal Court House, Boston, MA
    Portrait of Hin. Richard G. Stearns
United States of America, Federal Court House, San Juan, PR
    All judicial portraits of the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico, past and present, 
    Portraits of: Hon. Clemente Ruíz Nazario, Hon. José Antonio Fusté, Hon. Aida M. Delgado-Colon, Hon. Francisco Augusto Besosa, Hon. Gustavo A. Gelpi, Hon. Carmen Consuelo Cerezo, Hon. Pedro Delgado, Hon. Juan R. Torruella, Hon. Jaime Pieras Jr., Hon. Salvador E. Casellas, Hon. Raymond L. Acosta , Hon. Hiram Rafael Cancio , Hon. Juan B. Fernández-Badillo, Hon. Paul Charlton, Hon. David Chávez Jr. , Hon. Robert Archer Cooper, Hon. Daniel R. Dominguez, Hon. Jay A. Garcia- Gregory, Hon. Gilberto Gierbolini-Ortíz, Hon. Peter Joseph Hamilton, Hon. William Henry Holt, Hon. John James Jenkins, Hon. Héctor M. Laffitte, Hon. Charles Francis McKenna, Hon. Arthur Fuller Odlin, Hon. Juan Manuel Pérez-Giménez, Hon. Hernán G. Pesquera, Hon. Noah Brooks Kent Pettingill, Hon. Thomas Hagan Roberts, Hon. Bernard Shandon Rodey, Hon. José V. Toledo, Hon. Ira Kent Wells, Major Eugene D. Dimmick, Major Earl D. Thomas
Wrentham District Court, Wrentham, MA,
     Portrait of Hon. Warren Powers

MIT Federal Credit Union, Cambridge MA – 2013 - commissioned portrait of its founder, Frank Conant
Union Oyster House (historical landmark), Boston, MA - 1995-1997 - painting series commission: to create a series of paintings representing the printer / publisher Isaiah Thomas and his connection to the American Revolutionary War as well as depicting history connected to the Union Oyster House
City Harvest, Inc., New York, NY
Lefranc  & Bourgois, Winsor Newton, France
Law Offices of Kenyon & Kenyon, New York, NY
Morgan Stanley, New York, NY
Psion Co., London, England
Les Nouveaux Constructeurs, Paris, France - 1992 - lithograph commission: to create a lithograph edition representing the Cathedral d'Evry, the first cathedral built in France in 200 years, the lithographs were offered to the various parties involved by Les Nouveaux Constructeurs, including the architect, Mario Botta
Hotel Adagio, Sevres, France
Hotel Ibis, France
One if by land, Two if by sea, New York, NY

Found in private collections throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States


Interview by Michael Corbin, DAVID WELLS ROTH: JUDICIAL PORTRAITS with "ArtBook Guy" July 1, 2013

Interview by Michael Corbin, "DAVID WELLS ROTH: SPACE, LIGHT & SHADOW" with  "", April 5, 2012

Framingham artist exhibits at Boston's St. Botolph Club
Review by Chris Bergeran, Gatehouse News Services, (or Article). February 27, 2012

Listed in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. 11, pg. 1434, Oxford University Press

Review by Kristine Lundblad, Gatehouse News Services, Framingham artist mounts 'Places and Faces' show at the Whistler (or Article), June 3, 2010

Interview by Chris Bergeran, Metrowest Daily News, Framingham artist completes series of judge portraits (or Article), March 22, 2010

Drawing appears in Nathan Goldstein’s Figure Drawing, the Structure, Anatomy and Expressive Design of Human Form, 7th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010

Review by Chris Bergeran, Metrowest Daily News, "Trio of artists exhibits at Framingham State", December 8, 2008

Interview by John Hilliard, Framingham Tab, "David Wells Roth's paintings capture the silent drama of color at play" (or  Article),  September 19, 2008

The San Juan Star "Portraits of ex-federal judges unveiled in courthouse tribute", July 11, 2008

Metrowest Daily News, “Anticipation: Artists and institutions to watch in 2007”, December 31, 2006

June Wulff, The Boston Globe, Sidekick Scenes and the city”, March, 2007

Review by Ron Fletcher, The Boston Globe,  “Walls of Logan’s Terminal C provide a way station for art” - - “Walls of Logan’s Terminal C provide a way station for art”  July, 2006

Interview by Chris Bergeran,  Metrowest Daily News, “A brush with the law”, May 28, 2006

Interview by Chris Bergeran,  Metrowest Daily News, “A brush with passion”, September 15, 2005

News From the Boston University School for the Arts, Class notes, 1997

Susan Bickelhaupt and Maureen Dezell,  The Boston Globe, Names and Faces, “Finishing Touches”, July 10, 1996

Figaroscope, Paris, Expositions, “David Wells Roth”, October 26, 1988

Robert Taylor, The Boston Globe, “Great Views”, June 12, 1987

Review by Louis Williams, Middlesex News, “Sudbury artist, a master in the making” June 27, 1985

Interview by Donald Heinrich, Something ELSe, “A foreign Palette - Two artists in Paris”, December 20, 1984

Review, The Middlesex News, “Sudbury artist exhibits in honor of Boston 350” July 1, 1980

The Boston Sunday Globe, "Scholastic art awards of The Boston Globe", February 9, 1975

Interview by Lorelei Snyder, The Fence Viewer (Sudbury, MA), "Washington Stamp Board Will View Sudbury Student's Art", 1970